Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Peanut Butter Banana Granola Bars

This is very similar to the Very Berry Granola Bars.  I just added 2 items (peanut butter & bananas) and took out the berries.

2 cups of oats
1/4 cup ground flax seed
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup peanuts, crushed
1/2 cup brown sugar or 
OR 1/2 cup stevia & 1 T molasses (mix with fork)
1/2 cup all natural honey

1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
2 tbsp butter (We use Earth Balance natural spread)
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 bananas worth of Dried Honey Bananas or just buy a bag of dried bananas if you don't have a dehydrator (about 54 slices needed)

1. Crush peanuts in a ziploc bag using the bottom of a measuring cup to smash it against the counter.
2. Mix peanuts, flax seed, sunflower seeds, and oats together. Put on cookie sheet (with sides) and put in 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted (mix halfway through).

3. Put brown sugar, honey, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla extract in saucepan and simmer, constantly stirring until all melted together.  This will be the "glue" for your bars.
4. Mix the dry & wet ingredients you just prepared together in large bowl. Stir in ONLY about 5 or 6 chopped up dried banana slices into this mixture.  Keep mixing until all of the dry ingredients are coated with your "glue".
5. Spread mixture into a glass baking dish lined with wax paper & coated with a non-stick spray. At this point, evenly place all of your banana slices on top. Press them gently into the mixture so they stick to the bars. (I line 6 down and 8 across so you get 3 slices on each bar. Look at the photo below)
6. Lay another piece of wax paper on top and press down on the mixture to pack it tightly, even using the bottom of a measuring cup to pound on it.  You want it flat and tightly packed. If it's not, when you cut it into bars everything will fall apart.
7. Once packed, put in the refrigerator for about an hour or two.  Pull out of the 'fridge, take out of dish and put onto a cutting board and proceed to cut into 16 bars.
8. Individually wrap in saran wrap or put into a large container to store at room temperature. ENJOY your cheap, and healthier homemade granola bars!

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